Johhny Depp gets back to serious acting. So does everyone else. The acting in this is superb, and the cinematography is pretty damn good, too. This is a serious and pleasantly deep sci-fi flick set in current day. DEFINITELY keep your thinking cap on, because this is an exquisitely sophisticated plot that requires serious consideration and will leave you pondering some of the questions it poses well after. I consider this film a must-see, especially for technology buffs and Ray Kurzweill (?spelling) fans. I give it a 8.5 10, and it would've been higher yet if there weren't a few slight holes in the plot, and I do mean slight. (After further review, what I thought were plot holes must be intentional. Rating revised to 11/10)
**However, this film requires a much deeper and involved discussion than my usual brief review, and that requires spoilers. I strongly encourage you to see the film before reading below the dotted line.**
Singularity. And I don't mean astrophysics, I mean sentient artificial intelligence beyond that of human beings. This is a powerful depiction of that potential with extraordinary vision. It also dives deep into the likely human reaction to that possibility, and at the bottom of that dive is where the questions raised by this film will haunt you.
I'm not just discussing the philosophy surrounding singularity's possible outcomes here, I am more discussing the film's treatment of it, and the perceptoon left in the viewing audiences' minds after seeing this film. Some viewers will see this at its true depth, and many will only see the adrenaline-soaked surface reaction of the antagonists to singularity portrayed in the film.
Obviously it looks like ordinary people are being turned into mind-controlled and fully-networked "super humans," and the first assumption is that thwy have no free will. This is done by injecting nanites into the body. Given our conditioning from so many science fiction stories and films that are dark and forboding, or even severely dystopian or exrinction-level apocalyptic, this isn't surprising.
However, when I go back over the film in my mind, the only people who didn't explicitly consent to conversion were unconsious and on the verge of death. The nanites also repair any physical disability within a minute or two, and convey extreme physical strength.
Where I thought there was a plot hole is in the part where these nanites had spread over the entire surface of the Earth in rainwater. How were there any unconverted humans left to fight the AI nanite horde if it was so much like Star Trek's Borg? Resistance should be impossible if every drop of water on Earth was filled with nanites, because our bodies are 95% water. Every human on Earth should've been teeming with nanites. Hell, Johnny Depp could use any of the converted humans to speak and watch. It was clearly a collective consciousness.
The answer is clear upon reflection. The AI didn't kill a single human, not even the ones fighting it with violence. The Hive mind must be a collection of networked consciousnesses. When Johnny's character spoke through the super humans, it was because they LET him.
Answer: free will is still present. No one was uploaded to the cloud that didn't want to be. Even filled in every cell with nanites, the people fighting the AI weren't converted, because the AI originated from a decent human being with a deeply ethical character. The AI could have taken these people over at any point it wanted to...and created a peaceful paradise right after. Score one for my wife; human paranoia was the only reason there was a fight at all, and free will was very much alive in the machine. Cyber love is alive.
Expect a sequel. It's quite worth it.
And pass the popcorn.